04 May 2010

Single Track?

I am not sure if this is Single track , maybe multi track? Because I can jump from track to track it is not single track, In fact I dont need to stay on a track, the grass is ride able, not as hard as a track but straighter.

Despite my bitching the last post I managed to get off on this ride Sunday.

After two days of long meetings I wake Sunday morning lethargic and to a flooded yard.

I was mentally exhausted so I couched away the morning. Around 10 I started feeling like riding my bicycle. Lengijave plains would be a good bet as it is sandy and I could check out how the road north is progressing with new tarmac. (Editor note: no progress in our direction)

Before I could ride I had tubes to repair. In the workshop I found 4 road tubes and 3 Mt bike tubes in the "to fix" pile that have been neglected . I found one of each beyond repair with broken stems.

It is probably just me but can't they make a repair valve stem? It happens half dozen times per year.

The road tubes were straight forward but when i move on to the Mt tubes my pace slows down. The tube that killed my ride on Thursday at work because the tyre liner made a cut in the tube. The tube is sold by Slime company with slime pre installed, but the tube is cheap and was not fun to repair. I guess the Slime people don't patch slime tubes.
The next mtn bike tube was one of those extra thick tubes with slime. On a recent ride Thomas Holden found it would not hold air and as I loaned him a tube I ended up with the tube.
It had about 143 thorns actually stuck in the tube. In addition on the inside of the tube, a place where the slime tends to not seal very well, was an area peppered with little holes Again this one turned out to need a bunch of patches as well I added slime from the tube with the broken off valve.

Whew. So it was high noon before I rolled out , promising to be back around 4pm in order to visit sick in the hospital, attend a family "kikao" at a bar, and go out to eat with the family , etc.

The road north is worse than the cobbles of Paris Roubaix ("hell of the north") bicycle race. It is also very narrow and cars were honking for me to get the hell off the road, so I spent several km on the side of the road, which is all dug up for widening and fibre trenches. It is a tough life.

Past Ngaremtoni the traffic decreases but the road is all dug up , more fill laid down, packed down, driven on, rained on, and as time passes it is a rough dirt road.

I ride 20 km and turn off on the multi track above, where I can see far out into the northern Masai lands. I ride the gauntlet of the Lengijave pre-teen herd boys. They like to whoop war cries, threaten, chase, and throw a few stones. Once I start into the Oldupesi valley the battle stops and I coast for as long as time allows into the valley.
It is dry now. It looks like they got none of the rains other places are getting. Maybe some drizzle. There is dry dust and sand.

Here is some more multi track. You don't want to ride across it as it is 50 meters of ruts. Every year the vehicles move over onto new grass.

I want pictures of the yellow flowers and the dry grass but My camera fails here .

I ride to the sand river and it looks like nothing has happened in the river for months. I am a bit puzzled and worried for people living here.
I have passed my 2 o'clock turn around time and abut face into a strong wind and an hour of hard climbing.

I do a new variation and ride up a dry stream bed that is hard limestone full of bumps. There is a small track from animals and people worn into the stream bed but not as smooth as a cobble stone road. I figure it was faster. I get to where it is steep and then it is unrideable, on the grass i can ride but get bogged down a few times and walk. I meet two herd boys near the top of the steep part and we talk and walk, then i ride and then walk, then it gets almost level and they jog and I ride into the wind.
In the future I would take the dry stream bed to the steep part, then head right in another stream bed and pick up the jeep track to the top.
I make the "highway" and instead of screaming home downhill. I pedal into a wind and bounce around to home.

The erosion gets worse every year. It it will get worse with the new road as more water will run off of and into this drainage.

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